Getting around in Malta
Some people say that when you can drive a car in Malta, you can drive it anywhere in the world. The Maltese drivers are not known for their patience. Roads are often very small and outside urban areas the roads might be very bad. Read here everything what you need to know about getting around in Malta.
Do you need a rental car?
The main question we get is if you need a rental car in Malta. Before our visit it kept us busy for quite a while. In the end we decided to start without a rental car and see how far we would get. If it was not working out we could easily rent a car for the rest of the trip. Final conclusion according to us is that you don’t need a rental car if you are willing to be a little flexible.
First important thing to know is that finding a parking spot in Valletta and around is a nightmare. Don’t be surprised to drive around up to an hour to find a parking spot close to where you need to be. No, we are not joking!
There is no Uber in Malta, but there is a local alternative eCabs. Make sure to install the app upfront and create an account. In the urban areas they are frequently available and get you quickly to your destination. If you use them wisely they can help getting around Malta in an affordable way.
In the end we only used 3 times a taxi:
- From the airport to our first hotel in Sliema (13.7 euro)
- From Sliema to the Tarxien Temples before heading to the 3 cities (10,5 euro)
- From Sliema to Mdina (14,1 euro)
Different type of ferries
A ferry is something very common in Malta. We took several times the ferry to get from Valletta to Sliema or the other way around (1.5 euro).
We also took a roundtrip to Gozo which was only 4.65 euro per person Gozo Channel Service We read in several places that you only have to buy your ticket upon your return, but seems it’s only valid for cars. Passengers by foot have to buy the return ticket in Cirkewwa. However, you don’t need your ticket to get on Gozo. You only need to scan the ticket to enter the terminal when heading back to Malta.
From Cirkewwa we visited Comino with Comino Ferries. Here you pay 13 euro per person for a retour ticket. They have a different schedule during summer and winter season. You can easily check it on their website.
A nice and efficient way to get back from the 3 cities to Valletta is by an old fashioned Maltese Gondola. You pay 2 euro per person and they drop you off near the elevator to the upper Barrakka Gardens. You can also take the Gondola in the opposite direction.
Recently there are also two companies who operate a fast ferry from Valletta to Gozo, but we didnt use it. They claim it takes less than 45 minutes. More info on their websites (Gozo fast ferry and Virtu Gozo)
The old famous buses have been decommissioned several years ago and are replaced by modern busses. You can find all official information on the Malta public transport website. Frequency of the busses really depends on your journey. Isolated locations might be served only every hour or 90 minutes. You can also easily mix lines to navigate quickly.
There are cards for multiple days (21 euro) but we decided to only use day tickets. We wanted to keep flexibility between eCabs, Ferry and bus.
I would not recommend exploring Malta by bike, but for Gozo this is just perfect!